Transitional Authors

I begin this post with a question: what is the first adult novel which you remember reading?  As a child, I always had my nose within the pages of Enid Blyton and C.S. Lewis, and had a slight error at the age of seven, when I decided that Moby-Dick looked as though it would keep me busy for a while, and began it only to put it down soon afterwards. face

At the age of eight, however, I vividly remember reading both Jane Eyre and To Kill a Mockingbird – the first my own choice, and the second a gift from my father – and immediately feeling as though I had unlocked a whole new world of wonders.  I swiftly followed these wonderful novels, enduring favourites of mine, with the likes of Wuthering Heights and A Christmas Carol, and haven’t looked back since.

Are the first adult novels which you read classed amongst your current favourites?  If you remember, what made you select the adult books which you did as a child or teenager?

28 thoughts on “Transitional Authors

  1. Yes to Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Woman in White and numerous Dickens novels. But the one that I felt really grown-up reading (even if most of it went over my head) was Moll Flanders. I think my parents had it in their bookcase because it was part of a Classics series but had no idea what it was about…

  2. I went for The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, my mum’s Victoria Holt romances and Agatha Christie. I would still read all of those, except for the Victoria Holts……

  3. My first classic was also Jane Eyre, I got it for my 13th birthday from my uncle and remember absolutely falling in love with it, to this day it is one of my favourites. I also read Rebecca by du Maurier around the same time which is possibly my all time favourite book. However, I found popular adult fiction before I found classics – so my transition to the adult section of the library was via Jodi Picoult and Philippa Gregory, while I loved them at the time trying to revisit them made me realise how much my reading tastes have changed!

    • So lovely; I adore ‘Rebecca’! Have you seen it on stage before? I used to read both Picoult and Gregory now, but haven’t picked up any of their books for years. I imagine they may be a little less literary than many other books in the library. 😛

      • Yes! I saw the Kneehigh production last year – wasn’t what I was expecting, I have to say, but it was *so* good! I absolutely loved it and wish that I had gone to see it again!
        & yes. Much less literary! But I do think they’re both good bridging authors between YA to adult fiction. I read them, in the majority, when I was 12-16, but I never went through the YA phase and I have to give them the credit they deserve as they really got me reading prolifically! After a while though I just found that both Gregory and Picoult essentially rewrote the same book every time and they no longer sated the book craving, instead I just got annoyed… 😛

      • Same here! It was stunning; I loved the way in which they used the set in such ingenious ways. Oh, without a doubt! It feels like our reading journeys are rather similar! I didn’t do YA either, and I agree completely about the similarities of the books. I don’t think I read *that* many of Gregory’s, but Picoult’s were incredibly formulaic, and I don’t know about you, but I could always guess the endings…

      • Also, nothing beats a sea shanty! 😛

        & It does! And I still have fond memories of reading the books but, while I’d love to reread them, I don’t want to taint the memories I have of them. I know that having read some far superior books(!), I would really not like them now. I just don’t want to have to go through that pain of my memories being ruined!

        As for Picoult, yes. I never got the “I never saw that coming!” feeling. The moral dilemmas had predictable endings, even when I was 12/13/14 and had very little in the way of life experience 😛

      • Very true on all accounts! I’m not sure I could bring myself to re-read a lot of the transitional authors like Gregory and Picoult whose work I once enjoyed… 😛

      • I think I would cringe reading them now and wonder how I actually got through them!

        Interestingly, another author I used to read at this time was Cecelia Ahern (I read Where Rainbows End so many times the pages started falling out and my copy of PS: I Love You was ruined by a glass of orange juice) and she’s branching in to YA with her new book! I saw the book as a preorder on Amazon or somewhere and immediately thought of this conversation.

      • Haha! That’s so weird! One of my friends recommended Ahern to me when we were around the AS-Level stage, and I liked ‘Where Rainbows End’, but didn’t really get the hype about the rest of her books. Would you ever try to re-read it now? And have you seen the film?

      • I don’t think I would try reread now, in all honesty. I really think I would get frustrated with it! I have seen the film, but it was ages ago and it was one of those I had on in the background. I can’t say I was too impressed with it! 😛

  4. I started with Agatha Christie, Daphne Du Maurier and the Brontes, and then I moved on Thomas Hardy and Wilkie Collins. Virago Modern Classics came not long after, as I picked one up to see what this book that looked at little like the classics I read but also a little different was ,,,

  5. I think The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien were the first adult books I read, because I adored and had read The Hobbit many times already before the age of 10. It was a hard read for me but I must have got/enjoyed enough to re-read them in my mid-teens; where I understood a lot more and fell in love. Although The Hobbit is still my favourite book 🙂

    • That’s so lovely! I wish I’d read ‘The Hobbit’ when I was younger. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was my late grandmother’s favourite series of books, so I held off reading them for as long as I could, lest they bring back sad memories.

  6. Many of my first adult books were classics I had seen movie or T.V. adaptations of. Great Expectations and Sense and sensibility are two I specifically remember.

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